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Journal of Lipids
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 261247, 13 pages
Review Article

The Multifaceted Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on the Hallmarks of Cancer

1Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK
2Department of Imaging, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK
3Department of Surgery, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK

Received 20 January 2013; Revised 26 March 2013; Accepted 5 April 2013

Academic Editor: Angel Catala

Copyright © 2013 J. A. Stephenson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid have been shown to have multiple beneficial antitumour actions that affect the essential alterations that dictate malignant growth. In this review we explore the putative mechanisms of action of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in cancer protection in relation to self-sufficiency in growth signals, insensitivity to growth-inhibitory signals, apoptosis, limitless replicative potential, sustained angiogenesis, and tissue invasion, and how these will hopefully translate from bench to bedside.